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In Cognitive processing

How can we rethink 'rationality' in the wake of animal and artificial intelligence studies? Can nonhuman systems be rational in any nontrivial sense? In this paper, we propose that all organisms, under certain circumstances, exhibit rationality to a diverse degree and aspect in the sense of the standard picture (SP): Their inferential processes conform to logic and probability rules. We first show that according to Calvo and Friston (J R Soc Interface 14(131):20170096, 2017) and Orlandi (2018), all biological systems must embody a top-down process (active inference) to minimize free energy. Next, based on Maddy's (Second philosophy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007; The logical must: Wittgenstein on logic, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014) analysis, we argue that this inferential process conforms to logic and probability rules; thus, it satisfies the SP, which explains the rudimentary logic and arithmetic (e.g., categorizing and numbering) found among pigeons and mice. We also hold that the mammalian brain is only one among many ways of implementing rationality. Finally, we discuss data from microorganisms to support this view.

Hung Tzu-Wei


Active inference, Adaptation, Microorganism, Predictive coding, Rationality, Rudimentary logic and probability